But I'm Your Wife!

Note: Pairings are Grell & Sebastian, Eric & Alan, brief one-sided Grell & William

Summary: A crazy idea, a clever scheme, a word with multiple meanings … can Grell win Sebastian's heart?

Disclaimer: The characters are not mine.

Grell Sutcliff relaxed in his apartment as he dreamed of his dear Sebastian. He was wearing a red silky nightgown trimmed in black lace, his long and slender legs curled up on his favorite upholstered armchair. A tattered romance novel was gripped in his hand, the expertly shaped fingernails painted a brilliant blood red. But the plot of the book failed to interest him, perhaps because he had read it far too many times. Its current dog-eared status was proof to that. No, what he needed was a handsome man in his life, a real one and not a book as a substitute. The demon had those lovely red eyes and Grell knew he was the right one for him, but Sebastian was ever so stubborn about such things! He protested too much and even went as far as to deny the love they clearly shared. He had tried many attempts in the past but they all had failed. What was he to do?

"What I need is a new idea…" Grell said to the empty room, empty of other Shinigami that is. Ronald was no doubt off at some party, William was burning the midnight oil in the office – Grell had the suspicion he did that just to avoid him, and he was sure Eric was tending to Alan somewhere as the two were nearly inseparable. Sometimes he suspected that Eric loved Alan but wasn't brave enough to admit it. Saying such things would change things and could lead to a lot of awkwardness and even outright shock as sometimes people just didn't see what was right in front of them. But then, telling Sebastian how he had felt hadn't gotten him anywhere either. "A foolproof idea, one that will work no matter what is what I need!"

Grell was sure such an idea existed, somewhere.

He placed the useless novel back onto the table beside his chair. The delicate table of polished cherry wood held a cup of steaming tea, a box of half eaten chocolates that he half-heartedly pretended was a gift from the demon and a few other dog-eared novels. Then his green ringed eyes shifted to the new concoction that had recently come out in the Shinigami Realm. Someone had invented it and William had given him one. Well, shoved it rudely into his arms had been more accurate. The thing had been large and square, sort of like a giant lens from a pair of glasses and sported a dark frame.

"Keep yourself busy, Sutcliff, and don't cling to my arm like a leech." William had coldly stated at the moment. "There are many programs to view on this new viewer, so please go use it."

"But William, programs sounds so boring!"Grell had protested at the moment but had been shoved away from the dour supervisor, his arms now full of the strange viewer. "I would much rather spend the time with you!"

William adjusted his spectacles. "You can spy on all of the juicy bits from Cinematic Records on the viewer…"

"Oh…?" Grell looked uncertain but had dutifully taken the item home. Somehow it hadn't enticed him yet to turn it on, as he had spied on thousands of Cinematic Records over the years and none were really all that interesting. The one he really wanted to see was Sebastian's long history, to drag all of the demon's dark secrets to the light but he knew that was unlikely. Still, maybe it could give him an idea? Reaching for the remote that controlled the device, he turned it on. After playing with it a bit, he quickly realized there were many programs on the device and things he had never seen before as well! And some of these people, well, they looked like paintings come to life! Grell did not realize it, but he had discovered anime.

He ended up watching a romantic comedy called "Maburaho" that was about teenage wizards and witches attending Aoi Academy in Tokyo. The main thing that grabbed his interest was the fact that the red-headed witch, a cute girl named Yuna, insisted she was married to the boy named Kazuki. What Kazuki said didn't matter to Yuna at all and she answered all of his protests with "But I'm your wife!" and she said the same thing to the other students. She was Kazuki's wife no matter what anyone said. The fact that they weren't married at all was not important. She believed it in her heart and that made it true. And as any proper wife, she stayed by her husband's side through many trials, even after he died and became a ghost. Without a doubt, it was true love.

Grell thought it was brilliant! "At last I have found my foolproof plan! I will be Sebastian's perfect wife! I will cook for him and clean for him and do all of those other exciting things as well, things we will do in the privacy of our shared quarters! If it works for Yuna, it will work for me as well!"

The redheaded Shinigami leaped off of his favorite chair and dashed into his bedroom to pack a few things. Yes, he would move into Sebastian's room and nothing would have the ability to remove him! He would at long last have the perfect demon husband, the one he had always wanted. As quick as a blink his stuff was packed and he was ready to go.

He paused in the mirror to check his makeup. It wouldn't do to arrive not looking perfect. He had to look his best for his dear Sebas-chan. He carefully applied fresh lipstick and made sure his fake eye lashes were on. His red nightgown hugged his thin but strong body. "Ah, a romantic night with my darling Sebas-chan! It will be the first of many to come!"

Grell opened the door and happily dashed out, his bag of clothing dangling off of his arm. It was late but that didn't matter to the Shinigami. In fact, night was the perfect time for a romantic tryst with his scarlet eyed demon lover. The full moon that hung in the sky made it even better. The moon was just so romantic in his eyes as it shed its magical silvery light on the world below like enchanted fairy dust. Grell's heels clattered loudly on the polished floor of the Shinigami apartment building, uncaring if the hour was late and that said noise might wake his sleeping fellows. Most of them didn't understand him anyway and thought him weird, so what did it matter? He hurried around a corner and instantly collided into someone coming the other way.

Both reapers fell to the floor.

"Sorry." Eric said from where he lay on the floor, his dropped death scythe near him. Like usual, his dark jacket hung open and his tie was knotted very loosely about his neck. "I didn't think anyone would be up this late…"

"It's all right. I'm tougher than I look." Grell replied as he easily climbed to his feet. He bent and retrieved his dropped bag of clothes, then paused to toss his long tresses behind his shoulder. Being the free spirit that he was, Grell was unconcerned to be seen in his red nightgown by his fellow coworker. It was an expensive nightgown and one that flattered his feminine figure. Grell was about to go on his way when a thought occurred to him. He eyed Slingby who was slowly picking himself up off of the floor and a grin spread across his red painted lips. "You should tell him, you know…"

"Tell who what?" Eric dumbly looked at Grell in confusion, stifling a yawn with his black gloved hand. His green ringed eyes took in the other's form of dress. "You realize you're in nightclothes, right?"

"Of course!" Grell replied as he happily twirled his bag of clothes. "I'm off on a romantic tryst with my Sebas-chan! And you should tell Alan how you feel about him! He won't ever know if you don't say something!"

"What?" Eric's eyes took on the shocked glaze of a deer caught in the bright headlights of a rapidly approaching carriage. "I don't know what you're talking about…"

Grell smiled, knowing a lie when he saw it. The fact that Eric was now playing with his jacket gave away his nervousness at being found out. "You don't have to hide it, darling! Just tell him! Most people can be so dense about these things…"

Eric looked oddly pink now, the pink creeping up to red. His feet shifted about uneasily. His gaze shifted to the floor. He suddenly spied his dropped death scythe and bent to pick it up. "I can't tell him! He has no idea. What would he think? He has enough to worry about with the Thorns, I can't throw this on his plate as well…"

"But I found a foolproof plan!" Grell happily informed him with an excited wiggle.

"I doubt if there is such a thing…." Eric grumbled doubtfully. His face was still rather reddish, embarrassed that his secret had been found out.

"But this plan is perfect! I'm going to snag Sebas-chan with it and you should use it, too!" Grell leaned close to Eric and told him what to do in a soft whisper. The blonde reaper looked doubtful, but Grell grinned to reassure him. "Just try it!"

And with that done, Grell hurried off.

000

Sebastian had finished his work for the day and was returning to his small room in Phantomhive Manor. He opened the door to his neat and orderly room and stopped dead in his tracks, his hand frozen on the doorknob.

Grell Sutcliffe was kneeling on the floor of his bedroom in nothing but a red nightgown and looking up at him dreamily. How Grell got into the Manor without him knowing was a mystery, but yet here he was just the same. The reaper's bloody red hair and clothes stood out among the stark monochrome of the demon's bedroom and the only color to be found. No, check that. There was a blot of red on his perfectly made bed as well and within a few seconds the demon realized it was a red pillow, Grell's red pillow to be precise. The man had clearly brought it along and had boldly placed it on his bed next to his perfectly white pillow, without permission.

"What are you doing here, Grell?" Sebastian asked almost fearfully. The mere fact that the reaper was here did not bode well for him.

"Aaaahhh, Sebas-chan, my lovely husband, you are home at last!" The shark teeth flashed in a broad smile and his green eyes gleaned with excitement behind his red framed glasses. Still, he managed to stay kneeling on the floor but now his body quivered with excitement upon seeing the raven haired fiend.

"Husband?" Sebastian repeated the word, clearly perplexed. "I do not recall us getting married. Have you hit your head, Grell?"

"Sebas-chan, you wound me with your words!" Grell cried as he leaped to his feet and raced forward to grab the demon's white gloved hand. "I am your wife! From this day on I'll cook for you, clean for you and do every duty a proper wife shall do!"

Upon hearing the words, a devilish grin spread across the demon's face. "And how do you intend to cook souls for me, Grell?"

"Well, I …" Grell's words faltered at the hitch in his plan hit him in the face. He had forgotten that demons only eat souls! Then he recalled how the cartoon girl had been willing to cook eel even though she couldn't stand touching the things. "Anything for my dear husband! If a soul is what you want, then I will of course cook one…somehow…"

Sebastian laughed at the absurdness of the mere idea. It was clear Grell was spouting utter nonsense and was willing to do anything to be his wife.

"What are you laughing at?" Grell asked, annoyed. "It's not polite to laugh at a lady and especially one that is your wife!"

"How can you be my wife if we are not married?" The demon asked as he suspiciously sniffed at the air, pondering if the reaper was drunk. But no matter how carefully he sniffed, he could not find the slightest trace of alcohol.

"That doesn't matter! I'm still your wife!" Grell insisted hotly. He looked shyly up at the handsome demon, his cheeks coloring. "What do you want to do now, dear husband? Do you want to…?"

Grell's ring green eyes shifted to the neatly made bed.

Sebastian stepped over the threshold into the bedroom and loomed over the Shinigami, his eyes glowing red. Bending, he picked the redhead up into his arms.

"Ooh, Sebas-chan, I knew you loved me!" Grell exclaimed as his cheeks grew even redder.

But then the window was opened and he was dumped outside. He landed in the flower beds on his rear, his long red locks getting tangled on a nearby flowering shrub. Before anything could come out of his mouth in protest, the red pillow whumped him in the face. "How dare you treat your wife this way!"

"We are not married." The demon simply repeated. "Now please leave."

Sebastian closed the window and went to examine his dresser to make certain the annoying red pest had not taken anything. By the time he turned around again, Grell was back in his room!

"I'm your wife! You can't toss me out like that!"

The demon sighed, one white gloved hand to his head. This was going to be harder to deal with than he had thought. "Fine, Grell, but then I will expect a cooked soul from you tomorrow."

"Anything for my husband!" Grell cried happily as he hurried to place his red pillow back on Sebastian's bed. He then sat on the edge of the bed and swung his feet up. Moving about, he stretched himself out in a sexy pose, his long red hair spilling like blood over the black silk sheets. He blinked his long fake eyelashes shyly as he made circles on the bed sheet with a long red nail. "Are you coming to bed, dear?"

Sebastian stood by the dresser staring at him.

"Sebas-chan?"

"If you'll excuse me, Grell, I believe I hear Bocchan calling me…"

The demon quickly left the room, the door clicking shut behind him.

"That darn brat!" Grell cried unhappily to the empty room. "And things were just getting interesting, too!"

The Shinigami waited and waited for his husband to return but he soon fell asleep, snoring in a very unlady-like manner.

000

Grell hurried to work the next day, desperate to find any answer to his pressing problem. He needed to learn how to cook a soul and quickly! Unfortunately, cooking was not his thing at all. He had tried it shortly while he had served Madame Red and had just never been that good at it. And if the cooking part was not bad enough, it had to be a soul and he had no idea how in the world one could even be cooked!

The excited redhead skidded to a halt as some sort of commotion was going on in the office. He had no idea what it was, but it had drawn a big crowd of onlookers, Ronald among them. Wasting no time, Grell hurried towards the always good natured youngster.

"What do you mean I'm your wife?" Alan asked Eric in utter confusion.

"It doesn't matter what you say; you're still my wife." Eric hotly insisted with a red tinted face.

"But…" Alan was still confused.

"Ronald!" Grell called as he grabbed the blonde's hand. "You have to help me!"

"Not now, Grell-senpai! This is fascinating!" Ronald replied as he shook Grell off of himself and turned his attention back to Eric and Alan.

"But Ronald!" Grell tried to grab his attention but couldn't. Realizing that the young blonde wouldn't know anyway, he hurried off to William's office. He burst in without knocking as he always did and hurried up to his dour supervisor's desk. The grim dark haired man was busy as always with stacks of paperwork. "William, you have to help me! It's an emergency!"

"What is it this time, Grell?" William replied in a tired voice as he feared the worst.

"Please tell me you know how to cook a soul!"

William blinked at the redhead in surprise. "They are nice fried… I did not expect a cooking question from you, Grell. I thought it would be something more complicated and involving that demon."

At William's words, Grell's green eyes widened in utter shock. "How… how do you know they're nice fried?"

"I have eaten them from time to time…" William stated calmly as he shoved his glasses higher up his nose. "Why do you seem so shocked?"

"But William…!" Grell's mind went totally blank as he tried to take in the fact that his dear William had eaten souls! Will was always so stuffy and such a stickler for the rules and then to hear him admit he actually ate a few!

"Contrary to office rumors, Grell, I do not live in my office. I do leave it and do other things. I happen to enjoy cooking and fried sole is very delicious. I wasn't aware you had an interest in cooking."

"Yes, I … I'm trying to learn…" Grell managed to spit out as his mind whirled about in utter confusion. Was his boss breaking the rules? Was he eating the souls they collected? The redhead knew he should be greatly concerned, but then he thought of his beautiful demon with the dark red eyes. He was so close to getting Sebastian for a husband and all he needed to do was cook a soul. Luckily, William had the answer. The redhead leaned forward a bit nervously. "How … how would I do that?"

"Well, it's very simple really…"

"Is it?" Grell couldn't imagine how frying a ball of light could be easy. "How do you get it to stay in the pan?"

A sigh escaped the dark haired man's lips. "Do you know anything about cooking, Grell?"

"Ummm…I can boil an egg? That was my biggest achievement." Grell felt his cheeks heat up with shame. He cast his gaze down at the papers on Will's desk. "But I really need to cook a soul today!"

"Well, first you go to the market and buy a fresh sole."

A strangled gasp escaped Grell's painted lips. "They sell them?"

"Of course they do. It's too much trouble to catch one yourself. Besides, I don't have the time to waste in catching them…"

Another weird sound came from Grell's lips, his eyes bulging from their sockets. I thought I knew William and I don't know him at all! He must be a demon in disguise! "And then what?"

"You need to clean it, of course. Chop the head off; remove the innards and the spine. If it's too large for your frying pan, then cut it into sections…"

"They have heads?" Grell asked totally confused now. He had collected millions of souls over the years and he never had noticed any heads on them, but he had never examined one really close either…

"Yes, unless you buy one that's ready to cook. In your case, that might be best." William took a piece of note paper and scribbled down an address in London. He handed it to the redhead. "This is where I buy my soles. They have excellent quality ones there, very fresh. You'll also need some flour and oil. Just roll the pieces in the flour with a bit of salt and fry it until it's a golden brown. I think in your case, a very basic recipe is best."

Grell nodded, his mind in a haze of confusion. He clutched the paper in his hand and backed uneasily towards the door. "I … I have work to do…"

But William's mind was already back on his papers.

Hurrying down the hallway, Grell heard voices just around the corner, familiar voices. Deciding it was best to duck into the nearby supply closet less he get involved in the commotion (which technically was his fault) as he could let nothing interfere in his mission to cook souls.

"How can I be your wife if we're not married?"

"Doesn't matter. You're still my wife."

"But you didn't even propose!"

"Do you want me to?"

"-"

"Well, do you?"

"But we didn't even date!"

"We can date now that you're my wife."

"Eric, no matter what I say, you just say that I'm your wife!"

"Brilliant, isn't it?"

The voices faded away and Grell cracked open the door and poked his head out. Seeing the hallway was empty, he stepped out. "That Eric is so lucky! His marriage is going well and here I have to slave over a hot stove!"

Grell popped down to the mortal realm and headed straight for the address on the bit of paper. To his surprise, it was a mortal fish market. The redhead paused in utter confusion as he compared the address on the building to the address William had given him. It was the same. "Maybe they run some sort of black market thing in souls…?"

Bravely he opened the door and stepped inside. The air was filled with a weird fishy odor and all sorts of seafood were displayed on tables or in big tanks. His stomach twisted nervously as he eyed the weird scaly, slimy things. They came in different sizes and colors. For the life of him he had no idea what they were. To him, a fish was a fish.

"Can I help you?" A big burly guy in a white apron asked.

"Ummm, I want a soul?"

"We have plenty of those." The man replied as he led Grell over to a table covered in ice. Fishes were neatly laid on the ice. "Here they are. How many do you want?"

"Uhhhmmmm…" Grell gazed at the fish with uncertainty. They didn't look like any soul he had ever collected. Then he thought of Ciel and the dark underground world he ran, one that often involved illegal things like opium. Maybe, just maybe they hid the stolen souls inside these fish? Or did they change souls into fish so they could be smuggled out after they had been collected? "I better take a few less I goof up my recipe…so five?"

The man picked up five small fish and placed them into a bag. Grell paid for them and left, his nose wrinkling. "There's no way I'm taking these stinky things back to my apartment!"

Grell ran across the London rooftops until he reached Ciel's townhouse, the one he used to share with Madame Red. He let himself in and headed to the kitchen. Placing the fish on a chopping board, he stared at them in utter disgust. "Sebas-chan better appreciate this!"

The Shinigami removed his black gloves and his lovely red coat. There was no way he was going to ruin them with fish guts. He pulled a knife out of a drawer and set to work. The heads were chopped off, the bellies slit, the nasty guts removed … eeeww, disgusting – and the bones pulled out. He found flour and salt in the pantry and rolled the fish in it, not really knowing what he was doing. Then he poured oil in a pan, let it heat up and then attempted to fry it. To his surprise it went relatively OK and only burned a bit. The other ones cooked better and turned out a nice golden brown. The fish weren't all that large really and he was tempted to eat one, but then he recalled they were souls. He didn't eat souls, only demons did. "Ah, alas, they certainly do smell good! No wonder William has fallen from grace and is eating souls!"

Grell placed the fish on one of Ciel's pretty plates and then wrapped it to keep it warm. His red coat and gloves back on, he raced across the rooftops until he reached Phantomhive. He wasted no time crawling in through a window and quickly found Sebastian. "Oh dear husband, I have cooked souls for you!"

Sebastian looked surprised at the words. "Truly?"

"Yes, I cooked them myself!" Grell handed the plate to the demon, a broad grin on his face. He watched eagerly at the perfect butler unwrapped the plate.

"These are fish." The demon stated.

"Yes, they are souls!" Grell exclaimed happily as he leaned forward, his lips puckered for a kiss. "Now do your husbandly duty and give me a kiss! I slaved away in the hot kitchen for you."

Sebastian sighed, his red eyes going from the fish to Grell. The demon realized the fish were a type of fish named sole and thus Grell was playing a game of words. Either that or the reaper really was stupid. "Very well."

The redhead watched with utter amazement as Sebastian bent towards him, placing a hand behind his neck. The contact seemed to burn, the heat of Sebastian's hand sinking into Grell's neck and shoulder. Like a giggling schoolgirl, he vowed to never wash that spot again. The demon leaned yet closer, their faces approaching each other. The redhead's knees knocked together with nervousness. This would be their first kiss! And then it happened, the demon's lips touched his for a brief moment.

And then it was over, Sebastian pulling away.

"Is that it?" Grell asked in surprise and a bit of disappointment. "I had hoped for a longer kiss, Sebas-chan…"

"But I have a schedule to keep." The demon replied as he put the plate of cooked fish on the table.

"Are you going to eat your souls? I went through a lot of work cooking them."

"I promise they will get ate later. For now I will preserve them with my demon magic." Sebastian touched the plate of fish, placing a spell on them. "There, now they will keep until later."

"Well, I will return later, my dear husband! I must go do my rounds now." Grell exited out the back door and soon was hitting people with his chainsaw in London.

Sebastian was left alone with the plate of cooked fish, fish he could not eat. Nor could he serve them to his young charge as the cooking was nowhere near Ciel's high standards. He would give them to the servants to enjoy but soon thought better: a slip of the tongue from a servant who was not thinking and Grell would be furious; blood may be spilt. Nor did he just want to throw them out. What to do…?

The demon had a knack for fortune telling and was very good at it. He sensed that if he put out a sign about these 'souls' then the proper person would show up to get them. He used his powers a tad more and realized that he could use it to solve a future problem as well, one that did not present itself yet. The demon grinned, sinking more of his magical energy into the fish. If he cured the problem now, then he would save time and energy later. His poor master could avoid a nasty mess and would suffer one less kidnapping.

000

Eric was quite pleased with his first day as a married man so far. He had thought Grell's idea insane at first and he had been scared to utter the words that first time. For awhile he had been embarrassed beyond belief, but as the day moved on and he grew used to the chit chat that went on between him and Alan, he grew rather relaxed and even enjoyed it. Best of all, Alan hadn't gotten angry as he had feared. He seemed a bit confused, yes, but Eric couldn't blame him for that as he threw it out of the blue at him.

But now he had a job to do…

Somehow he had to collect a thousand souls. He had gone out last night to get a few but just couldn't bring himself to kill an innocent person. But now that he was married, well, surely he had a duty to cure his wife?

He wandered around, unsure just how to start this illegal thing. He kept thinking that the poor people he was eying had families and friends who would miss them. Somehow his feet led him out into the country and there to his amazement he spied a sign in a window of a large nice-looking house.

FREE SOULS

Eric rubbed his eyes, sure he must be seeing wrong but the words remained the same. Cautiously he approached the window and peered within. A kitchen met his gaze as well as a handsome man with dark red eyes. Within seconds he realized the man was really a demon, most likely the one Grell was always talking about. "What's this about free souls, demon?"

"I have five free souls to give away today." Sebastian stated in a firm manner as he eyed the blonde Shinigami who had black cornrows in his hair. "Do you want them?"

"What's the catch?" Eric asked suspiciously, as he had never heard of a demon that gave souls away.

"I assure you there is no catch. It's just that I cannot possibly use these souls and I do not want to waste them. The only condition I require is that you tell no one where you acquired them from." Sebastian fetched the plate of cooked fish and handed it to Eric through the open window. Without realizing it, he had created the very first take out window.

Eric peered at what was on the plate and frowned. "These are fish."

"Yes and the souls you seek are in them. I assure you they will do what you desire." The demon smiled as he sensed the blonde was close to agreeing.

"How do you know what I want them for?"

"I know these things. I often know things before they happen." The demon's grin grew broader. "Five a day and in just over a year that would be a thousand, is not that correct?"

Eric looked at the fish again. They were a lovely golden brown and smelled delicious. Just holding them was making his mouth water. He thought of Alan and how carefully the other followed the rules. Somehow he doubted if his wife would knowingly use a soul that way. "Maybe it's better this way, hidden…"

The demon nodded. "Then I shall see you tomorrow I presume."

"OK…" Eric turned to go. "Thanks. It means a lot to me."

"The pleasure is mine." Sebastian watched the Shinigami leave and was glad the fish was now gone. He could tell Grell truthfully the fish had been eaten.

000

Grell finished his paperwork and dropped the reports off in William's office, eager to head home to his husband. He had eyed his supervisor oddly for a few moments but Will hadn't even noticed. Truth be told, Grell still found it hard to believe that Will ate souls. He just didn't look the type. He quickly forgot about it as he popped down to Phantomhive and let himself in through a nearby window.

He quickly found Sebastian in the dining room serving supper to the young earl. Without wasting a single moment, Grell hurried over to the demon's side and attached himself to the other's arm.

"What are you doing here?" Ciel asked as he eyed the redheaded Shinigami.

"I am Sebastian's wife!" Grell loudly proclaimed. "We are happily married now!"

Hot tea burst out of Ciel's mouth all over the finely set table, making the white tablecloth ugly with big wet splotches. His single blue eye grew as round as a saucer. "What? Married! Sebastian, when did this happen?"

"Sebastian is married?" Mey-Rin gasped. "Who is she I want to know!"

"Is that a bloke?" Bardroy asked suspiciously as he stared at Grell. "Somehow she don't look exactly like a lady…"

Mey-Rin hit the cook on his shoulder as she glared at him behind her fogged up glasses. "That's rude to say that about a lady, yes it is! You'll hurt her feelings…"

"Look at them awful teeth…" Bardroy continued as he chewed on his cigarette. "Now that I think about it, I think I saw that person before..."

"Do we get cake?" Finney asked hopefully. "I wants wedding cake! We can eat the leftovers!"

"Let's hope it was a really BIG cake, one of them humungous things with layers and layers…" Bardroy rubbed his hands in glee.

"But Sebastian is married…!" Mey-Rin started crying, tears bursting out of her eyes. She hid her face in her apron as she made odd honking sounds. It was no secret to the staff that the clumsy maid had a crush on the handsome butler.

Ciel watched the servant's commotion in silence, hot tea spreading over the white cloth. "Sebastian?"

The demon butler changed the tablecloth to a fresh one in moments, the young earl's meal quickly being placed onto the clean cloth. Luckily, his dinner had not been ruined. "I am afraid this is a misunderstanding, Bocchan. Grell is playing a practical joke on you."

"A joke?" Grell exclaimed as his green eyes flashed in annoyance. "Our love is no joke, Sebas-chan! I am your wife! How can you pretend to forget such a thing? It is rude! Ahhh, what a passionate wedding night we had!"

Grell hurried over to the demon's side again and quickly attached himself to the demon's arm as before. He laid his head against the other's chest, smiling sweetly.

"Grell…Grell…"Bardroy muttered as the cigarette moved in his mouth. Then his eyes widened and he pointed a trembling finger at the redhead. "You're Madame Red's butler!"

Mey-Rin stopped her crying, gasping now. The white apron was lowered and she gazed at the married couple with red puffy eyes. Her mouth was hanging open in utter shock. "But … but … how could you marry another man?"

"It's unnatural it is!" Bardroy cried.

Ciel moaned, hanging onto his head with both hands. It was officially a disaster now. Personally he didn't care if Grell wanted to kiss his butler as the Shinigami was often useful, but he was still a freak. But for that to get out, well, people just didn't understand such things and it was frowned on.

"I am not a man! I am a lady!" Grell declared with his chin high in the air. "Alas, I was a poor girl and my parents were dead. I was forced to take the disguise of a man so I wouldn't starve on the streets. Madame Red took pity on me and took me on as her butler. I realize I am not as pretty as my former Mistress, may she rest in peace, but I assure you I am a girl. Due to the poor diet in my youth I sadly never developed any of a woman's natural curves, thus I easily pass for a man."

Bardroy started crying then, hanging on Mey-Rin. "You poor thing!"

Ciel huffed, not really surprised the servants had fallen for the reaper's story. They were idiots.

"You better take proper care of her now!" Mey-Rin informed the demon. "It's awful to deny that you're married after the fact!"

"Yeah, man up!" Bardroy said in a tough voice as he glared at the butler. "A husband has responsibilities! You can't just take advantage of a lady and then try to dump her! That's not right!"

Finney looked from one person to the other. "What about the cake?"

"This is more important than cake, Finney!" Bardroy interjected. "You can't marry a girl for just the wedding night and then deny it! That's just plain wrong, it's awful."

Finney started jumping up and down on the floor, hands curled into tight fists. "I want cake! I want cake!"

Grell smiled smugly up at the handsome demon. "You see, Sebas-chan, I am your wife."

Ciel chewed on his roasted duck. It would be interesting to see how Sebastian could worm his way out of this mess.

000

"Hey, I bought us some lunch…" Eric said as he walked up to Alan's desk where the brunette was doing his paperwork. He handed Alan the plate of souls and Eric had bought a similar plate of fried fish for himself from a local pub he knew about. Luckily, they looked similar enough that the other wouldn't be suspicious. The fish pieces weren't really all that big, shorter than his palm in length and not even that wide. Eating five would not be a problem. "I have some salad and fruit here, too."

Alan accepted the plate of fish, taking the cover off of it. His green eyes shifted from the fish to Eric. "Eric, is this 'wife' business your way of trying to tell me something? Truthfully, I've been thinking more than writing my reports and the only conclusion I come to is that you're attracted to me?"

The blonde suddenly felt his face heating up again, just as it had that morning. He had thought he had gotten over that part but apparently not. "Maybe…"

His uncharacteristic blushing face made the answer very obvious to Alan. "I'll take that as a 'yes'. Has it ever occurred to you that I may have similar feelings? I do admit you surprised me this morning!"

"Well, yeah, I wanted something foolproof…" Eric blurted out as he picked up a piece of his fish. He still felt embarrassed but now he was happy as well since his partner apparently felt the same way.

The door flew open and Ronald came racing in, the blonde having a look of panic in his eyes. He raced between the rows of desks, his quick pace drawing the eyes of every Dispatch Officer in the room. "Run for your lives!"

Eric jumped to his feet, his fish forgotten. "What's wrong Knox?"

"They're coming!" Ronald shouted as he ran past Eric and Alan.

"Who's coming?" Eric demanded to know from the younger blonde. "We can't help you unless you say exactly what it is."

But Ronald was only charging along the rear wall in a crazy fashion, his eyes bugged out in fear. "They're worst than demons! They'll tear you to shreds!"

"WHO?" Eric asked as frustration built in his chest. He was ready to swing a hand at the clearly out-of-his-mind Knox to dismiss the other's ranting when he heard a loud sound coming towards their office. It sounded like a big group of people running and shouting at once, like a mob.

Ronald dove under a desk in the rear, trying to hide.

"Knoxie!" A secretary from one of the other departments charged into the office. "Where are you, Knoxie? You're my husband now!"

"No, he's my husband!" A second secretary called loudly as she charged in after the first.

A third was right behind the second. "Knox is mine! I saw him first!"

Within two minutes, about thirty secretaries from all over the Shinigami building poured into the office, all of them shouting they were married to Knox. They were the various ladies that Ronald had taken on dates or met at parties. Ronald lived for attending parties and having a great time. Nothing was out of the question. He tried it all, except for settling down and tying the knot. But unknown to Ronald, the women had watched the very same anime that Grell had. They loved the romance in it, even if it had been a comedy more than romance. Worst, it had given them the idea.

"There he is!" One of the secretaries shouted. "I see his white shoes!"

"Get him!" Another shouted.

"Aahhhhhh!" Ronald was dragged out from underneath the desk and hauled up into the air by sixty hands. Then he was carried towards the exit. "Save me someone! I'm too young to get married! I'm not even a hundred years old!"

The pack of excited woman charged out of the office, Ron still shrieking.

"Huh, I never saw that before…" Eric commented as he sat back down to eat his lunch. He picked up another piece of fish and took a bite. He saw Alan was eating the fish too and he smiled. He just hoped that the demon kept his word and that there were souls hidden in them.

"Well, he does date a lot of women." Alan said as he sipped at a cup of hot tea. "But what they were saying sounds very familiar, don't you think?"

Eric shrugged. "Maybe Grell talked to them."

"Is that where you got the idea from, Grell?" Alan finished his fish and started on the salad. "It does seem the sort of thing she would do. But no matter where the idea came from, I'm glad you finally said something. I've been hesitating too."

William T. Spears appeared in the doorway, Ronald Knox firmly grasped by the collar of his jacket. The young blonde appeared very thankful his dour supervisor had saved him from the pack of wild women. He shoved Knox roughly towards the desks. "Go do your paperwork! Seriously, I didn't expect trouble from you, Knox."

"Sorry, William-san! They just grabbed me out of the blue! I don't know what's got into them, honest!"

A few of his co-workers laughed and one shouted a rude comment. A glare from Spears shut them up instantly. "Seriously, I don't know what's wrong with you people today. Now I have to write up discipline reports on thirty secretaries! Of all of the stupid stuff…"

Spears turned to head back to his office and paused. "Slingby, Humphries, in my office."

At the unexpected summons, a nervous feeling grew in Eric's gut. He certainly hadn't done anything worthy of getting called into the office, not that he knew of anyway… unless Spears had heard of their "marriage" but as far as he knew, that wasn't against the rules. Still, Spears had that stick up his rear and was a stickler for rules so anything was possible. Silently Eric stood and wiped his hands on a napkin. Dropping said napkin on his partner's desk, he set off to follow his dark haired supervisor.

000

Grell rested in Sebastian's small bedroom waiting for his husband to appear. He had gone to put the brat to bed… oops, he meant earl. Maybe, if he was lucky, the demon would kiss him again. Grell's toes curled at the idea.

The door opened then and Sebastian came in. He spotted Grell lying upon his bed and he sighed. "Grell, no matter how often you say we are wed, we are not. I do not feel comfortable treating you as a female of loose morals…"

"There's nothing wrong with cuddling, Sebas-chan!" Grell replied happily as he watched the dark haired fiend with rapt interest. Those devilish red eyes, that soft black hair, those lips…aahhh!

"I hardly think there is room in that bed for two. It's a cot meant for one." Sebastian dropped the hint, hoping the other would take it. But to his dismay the redheaded reaper stayed right where he was, his blood red nightgown marring the perfect black of his bed sheets. "Trust me, Grell, you do not want to be married to me."

"Of course I do!"

"No, you do not." The demon repeated. "I require you to cook souls for me every day."

Grell frowned at this. While he enjoyed murdering humans, killing those twisted souls that looked exactly like fish was horrible! Their fishy stink went on his hands and no amount of washing could remove it. And the black slimy guts in them…ewwww! "Must I? Can't I prepare you something else? How about a nice sandwich or some fresh fruit?"

Sebastian turned his back on the reaper as a smile turned his mouth upward. "I see you are not serious about being my wife, Grell. It is as I thought…"

"No, no, I'll cook the souls!" Grell quickly promised as he sat up with worry now in his heart, as he did not want to ruin their marriage before it started. He could see Sebastian was going to be a demanding husband. Well, he would expect nothing less. Sebastian was perfection in human form. He would have to be perfect, too.

"I will expect five a day."

Grell sighed but quickly agreed. He quickly vowed to buy more perfume and scented soaps, as he was going to need it desperately. Those slimy things stunk to high Heaven. "Now will you please come to bed, husband?"

Sebastian sighed loudly, making a show of it. Then he started to sit on the small amount of bed that was left unoccupied.

"You're not going to wear your tailcoat to bed, are you?" Grell asked as he grew surprised at the other's unexpected actions. "Surely you don't sleep in your full uniform!"

"It has never bothered me before…" Sebastian replied honestly as he studied the redheaded leech that he soon feared would be stuck to his side. "A simple spell and my uniform is clean, fresh and wrinkle free. Besides, Bocchan may call me at any moment. Surely I cannot answer his summons in pajamas. I must be properly attired at all times."

Grell's mouth gaped open at the words. It was clear the demon was going to be a tough case to crack. "Do you even own pajamas or anything else?"

"No." Sebastian cautiously lay out on the bed, but only half of him fitted; his other leg still on the floor. And so he shifted over closer to Grell. This motion unfortunately had the side affect of shoving the other along the narrow mattress and right off the edge.

With a loud thump, Grell fell off of the bed and onto the floor.

Luckily the redhead was a tough Shinigami and such a short fall did not harm him, but he was not very happy about it. He quickly sprung to his feet and glared at the demon unhappily. "You shoved me off of the bed!"

"I told you this bed was made for one…" The demon replied with his hands folded behind his head and looking like the cat that ate the canary.

"Well, make it bigger!" Grell demanded in a huff, hand on his hip. "You ate those souls I cooked, right? You should have plenty of power to do such a thing!"

"They were eaten." Sebastian replied carefully. "But realize I had to do other things today, repair the endless blunders of the servants. Bardroy destroyed the kitchen with dynamite…"

"This is a huge manor! There are countless empty beds in it. We can just borrow one of those…"

"Those are for guests." Sebastian pointed out.

"Well, I'm a guest…" Grell fluttered his long fake eyelashes and lifted his long red hair, trying to look sexy. He wiggled, trying to tempt the handsome butler. He was sure it would work on any hot blooded man, as who could resist a beautiful lady like him? But the demon had ice in his veins and his moves led to nothing he had hoped.

"An uninvited guest that barged in with a silly story." The demon pointed out. "But where are my manners? You should move into one of the other rooms as soon as possible."

"Sebas-chan, no! I am your wife!"

"I do not know you that well, Grell." The demon stated and since he could not lie, it was true.

Was Sebastian shy? It was a crazy idea but the only thing that made sense. He had presumed the demon would be bold, as the fiend had never hesitated in pounding on his face during their first fight long ago, but he was not making any moves. In fact, he was doing the opposite. He had to be firm with him. "Sebas-chan, I am your wife and I will be staying here in your room!"

Sebastian rose from the bed and pulled a white handkerchief from his pocket. Opening it with a jerk of his wrist, he used his demon powers to make it into a soft pad that he laid on the floor next to his bed. "You may sleep there. If you do not like it, then please return to your own realm."

"So cold…" Grell replied as he sunk onto the mattress pad. A moment later a bed sheet and a blanket was dumped on his head.

"Do not molest me in the night…" The demon warned.

"It is I who has to worry about that, you fiend! You may ruin my maidenly virtue!" Grell said dramatically with a hand to his forehead. "Here I am, alone in a room with a demon, a fiend from Hell…Oh, I should be frightened!"

Grell could have sworn he heard Sebastian moan in misery, but surely that was impossible. It was not the kind of thing that his Sebastian did. Grell set about making his bed and soon had it ready. At least he was now living in Sebastian's room. It was a step in the right direction.

000

Eric and Alan stood uncertainly in from of Spears' desk. An uncaring bored expression was on Eric's face but inside he was feeling a bit nervous. While he really didn't think he could get in trouble for saying Alan was his wife, this was Spears he was dealing with and he was a tad unpredictable. Well, it was too late for that. The entire office knew.

"I understand the two of you are married?" William T. Spears stated as he sat behind his large desk, a desk that was covered with stacks of papers. His green eyed gaze flickered from one to the other.

The blonde hesitated, unsure how he should answer the question as he didn't know why Spears was asking the question. The last thing he wanted was to get Alan into some type of trouble. It had been a bit of harmless fun really and a clever way to break the ice, as otherwise he never would have worked up the courage to say anything. "It's not against the rules as far as I know…"

As the senior of the two, it was his responsibility to know all of the rules.

"That may be correct, Slingby, but there are forms to be filled out." William stated as he bent in his chair to lift something up that was hidden out of sight.

He heard the squeak of a file cabinet opening and the sound of Spears grabbing something, the sound of papers rustling.

"Forms?" Eric repeated as a nervous feeling grew in his gut. It sounded like more paperwork and he had enough of that already. Besides, he didn't like how Spears was bending over like that, as it suggested a possibly large, multi-page booklet thing and he hated those. They tended to ask the most stupid questions ever. That and he was pondering if he should tell Spears the truth, that they weren't really married at all. Uncertainty bit at him and he hesitated, his gaze flickering over at Alan, whom he noted wasn't saying anything either.

"Yes, forms." Spears replied as he straightened his spine, a thick tome in his hands that resembled a gigantic telephone book. He held it out towards them over the crowded desk. "I had to get one printed from the proper department."

"What the heck is that?" Eric grumpily stared at the fat book with much trepidation. "That isn't a form; it looks like the "Collected Works of Shakespeare" all bound in one book!"

"Nether less it is the proper form…" William stated as he continued to hold it out to them. "Be sure to fill out each section."

Alan accepted the book and cradled it against his chest, looking rather happy about it instead of his usual serious expression.

Eric noted the half-smile on his partner and realized that Alan must be actually happy about their unexpected marriage, even if it were only in words. That made him feel better as well, as the last thing he intended to do was to drag him into an unwanted relationship…but if Alan was happy about it. His mood brightened a bit, but that didn't change his feelings about the dreaded forms. He hated paperwork but did it because he had to. Eric sighed but took the book from the smaller brunette. He couldn't let Alan carry such a heavy thing in his poor condition. And just like he had thought, the thing was as heavy as a boulder.

"If you have any questions, feel free to ask me." Spears offered as he picked up his pen and pulled a file off a stack towards his work area, dismissing them.

Eric walked with Alan back towards the brunette's desk. Setting the tome down in an empty corner the two finished their very late lunch. As he swallowed the last bit of his food, he gazed unhappily at the thick bundle of forms. Leave it to Spears to turn something joyous as a marriage into drudge work. "Do you want to come over to my apartment to work on this thing? I'll make us a nice supper…"

"I'd like that." Alan replied with a smile. He could almost guess what his senpai was thinking. "I'm sure the questions are simple enough. It's just in triplicate I bet. It's quite ironic, don't you think, filling this out now and here you just asked me out on our first dinner date?"

Eric laughed, realizing it was true. A part of him felt guilty about the whole thing, even if Alan was happy with it. And then there were the souls he had just fed him. It was a crummy thing to do really, selfish on his part but he just couldn't stand by and watch Alan suffer through attacks. He just hoped that the demon had told him the truth. It was crazy really, trusting a demon's words but what other hope did he have? His only other choice was to turn into a mass murderer and that wasn't any better.

"I'll just hand in these reports and then we can go." Alan said as he rose, collecting the pile of neat paper off of his desk. "If you're done for the day that is...?"

"Yeah, I'm finished." Eric stood and collected the plates and other trash from their late lunch. The plates he would return to the demon tomorrow but now he faced the challenge of cooking for his wife. Suddenly he had no idea what he should make, his mind going blank. It was a bit of a terrifying feeling. He knew he was good at cooking and he had wanted to cook for his partner for a long time, but just had never done so. He tried to recall what he had on hand and what he might need to pick up. That and what did Alan like? He knew his partner liked fruits and salads, leafy greens but as to a main course he was uncertain. He watched Alan leave to go hand the reports in and played around with various ideas.

"Let's go." Alan said once he returned from Spears' office after dropping off the reports he had just typed.

"What would you like for supper?" Eric asked as they walked down the hallway towards the lift at the end of the hall, the heavy tome tucked against his side.

"Whatever you want is fine." Alan replied as he walked along the other, his garden slasher in hand.

Eric sighed a bit, knowing that due to Alan's easy going nature trying to get actual facts out of him at times could be difficult. He half suspected he would sit through a meal he didn't actually like because it was what the other person wanted. It was a bit of a guessing game. "How about rabbit? I could make us a nice stew with some oatcakes. It's a bit chilly outside and I think a hot stew would be good, especially after having the fish for lunch."

"Do you know how to cook rabbit?" Alan pressed the button to call the lift, turning to regard him with curiosity.

"Of course I know how to cook rabbit. We Brits live on rabbit." Eric grinned with confidence, as he could see he had Alan's attention now.

"I never had anyone offer to cook rabbit for me…" Alan admitted.

"I can cook all sorts of things." Eric grinned with ease and confidence. "It's my hobby of sorts. Ronald chases after skirts but I prefer cooking in my spare time. It's more practical. Besides, I can't always eat out. It gets too expensive. It's healthier this way and you can make it the exact way you want it."

"I'm afraid I'm not very good at cooking…" Alan admitted as he shifted his gaze down towards the floor.

"We'll have to stop off at the market so I can pick up some ingredients. You don't mind, do you?" Eric asked as the lift arrived and the doors opened. He stepped in and Alan joined him.

"I don't mind." Alan replied with a smile. It was clear he was looking forward to their first date.

The lift descended and they exited on the main floor and headed outside. After that Eric opened a portal and they leaped through, appearing in London near the market Eric enjoyed shopping at. The two reapers stored their death scythes in the aether where they could retrieve them at a moment's notice. Walking in the market carrying a saw and a garden slasher would attract too many eyes and cast suspicious glances their way. The air was cool and there was a slight nip in the breeze that was blowing. Autumn had arrived and soon the leaves would be turning colors and falling from the trees. Without a doubt, it was a great time to make soups and stews.

Eric led the way into the market and Alan followed him.

"So what exactly do you put into a rabbit stew?" Alan asked with curiosity as he trailed the blonde into the produce department.

"You'll see…" Eric replied as he tucked the heavy tome under his arm and picked up a little metal basket for his groceries. Into it he placed a stalk of celery, leeks, carrots, green beans and some fresh tarragon. Then he added a bag of wild rice and butter. Then he went to the area where the meat was kept and picked up a rabbit. "The rest of the ingredients I have already."

Eric paid for the groceries and they left. Upon exiting the market they found that it was dark outside already, the chill in the air more noticeable. There was a store that sold alcohol nearby and Eric pondered if he should get something to go with their supper. He knew Alan didn't drink too much or very often, but he wasn't opposed to wine on occasion. "Shall we get a bottle of wine to go with our meal?"

"That sounds nice…" Alan agreed.

They set off down the block, the wooden sidewalk lit by glowing gas powered streetlights. Soon they reached the store and Eric quickly bought a bottle. They exited; the bag of groceries in Eric's arms. As they slowly walked back towards a nearby alley so they could create a portal away from prying eyes, Eric pondered on how Alan was feeling; if the souls have had any effect on him yet. He suspected it was too soon to notice but he still hoped for a sign. He only noticed that the other's cheeks were a bit rosy but that could be from the cool air.

"How are you feeling?" Eric asked when he could stand it no longer. He wanted to know if the demon had told him the truth. He didn't have much hope, just a smidgen really but he clung to it as it was all he had.

"You know, I feel pretty good…" Alan replied, looking surprised about it himself. "I didn't realize it until you asked. Usually I feel this ache all of the time in my chest and these other weird sensations, but I just realized that they seem to be gone!"

Eric grinned, overjoyed at the news. He blinked back tears of happiness, hoping that the other wouldn't notice. He threw an arm around Alan and pulled him against his chest, hugging him with his free arm and hoping he wouldn't drop the bag of groceries. He vowed to buy one of those cloth bags with handles on it so he could hang it from his arm. From now he would be shopping for two it seemed.

Resting his head against Eric's broad chest, Alan sighed in contentment. "What do you think brought about this change? I mean, how could this be? The doctors said it was incurable!"

"I can't say…" Eric replied, his happiness tinged a bit with guilt. He knew he could never tell Alan the truth, that there had been souls hidden in the fish somewhere. He had no idea how the demon had hid them there, as he had looked at them with his unique green ringed eyes and hadn't noticed anything at all. The fish had appeared to be just fish. But if Alan was feeling better, clearly the souls must have been there after all.

"Do you think it's … true love?" The shorter brunette asked. Even in the dim lighting it was clear he was blushing at the words. "I read in a fairy tale the other night that true love can do incredible things."

"Yeah, I'm sure that must be it." Eric laughed a bit nervously at the words. He suddenly realized that he had never been this close to the other before, not in this way. He had helped support Alan countless times after attacks by the Thorns, he had sat by his bedside numerous times and had ever carried him a few times to the infirmary, but never had he been nuzzled against his chest like this, a warm arm around his waist. Then Alan shifted his head and was gazing up at him with intense green eyes. A hand gripped his necktie and put pressure on it, pulling his head down. And the next thing he knew was that Alan stretched up on tippy-toe and kissed him. The unexpected move caught him off guard but he happily kissed him back.

I'm definitely stopping by that demon's house for more fish tomorrow!

The kiss ended and they parted. They continued on the way to the alley so they could open the portal away from the eyes of curious humans and return to their own realm.

000

Grell lay on the mattress pad, the thin blanket over him. He knew he should be getting his beauty rest but he just couldn't sleep. Sebastian was so close and he wanted to be snuggled against the demon's warm side but the man was playing as cold as ice. He heard a gust of wind rattle the panes of glass in the frames and he shivered. A cold draft was blowing from somewhere, the window perhaps, and it was making him feel cold. Normally being cold didn't bother him too much but he disliked it while he was trying to sleep. Winter would arrive all too soon and by then he hoped he would be snug in Sebastian's bed and not on the floor.

But how to get there?

He couldn't help but recall that Yuna's brilliant plan had never got her into her 'husband's' bed either. The redhead sighed sadly as he pulled the blanket up to his chin, trying to conserve whatever warmth he had. He had to win the demon's heart somehow, but how? He was sure Sebastian had one even if he was not used to using it. Then he recalled how the dark haired fiend lacked proper night clothes and vowed he would buy him some. Maybe that would warm the demon's icy heart.

000

Eric held open the door to his apartment and bid Alan to enter first. The blonde followed him, closing the door. They had arrived at the Shinigami apartment complex just in time as the wind had picked up, tugging a few early leaves off of the trees. The wind had a cold bite to it and he was glad now he had chosen rabbit stew for supper, as nothing could warm a person on a cold night as a hearty stew. Setting the ridiculous tome of what was sure to be idiotic questions onto the coffee table; Eric carried his groceries towards the kitchen. "Make yourself at home. It'll take some time before the stew's ready, a few hours…"

"That's all right." Alan replied as he looked around his partner's neat apartment and then sat down on the sofa. He pulled the heavy book of forms towards himself and opened it, scanning the questions that were inside it. He flipped a few pages and read a few more questions. He smiled at the simplicity of it. "Eric, I really don't see why you're so worried about this form. All of these questions are just basic ones…"

The blonde poked his head out of the doorway that led to the kitchen as he dried his hands on a towel. "Look further inside. Trust me, those things always ask the most stupid things…"

Alan flipped to the center, sure that Eric was mistaken. It was no secret that the blonde disliked paperwork. But when the brunette's green ringed eyes landed on the first question he saw, his easy smile faded. "Eric, what's a blood type?"

"Have no idea…" Eric's voice replied as he busied himself in the kitchen. "But it's what I meant by stupid questions. Then you're forced to run all over the place trying to find the answer."

"Where do we go to find out our blood type, the Shinigami doctor?" Alan asked as he rose to his feet and moved into the kitchen, carrying the book of forms with him. He watched as Eric started to dice the rabbit meat deftly with a sharp knife, the knife flashing in the modern lighting that the Shinigami Realm had.

"I guess so…" Eric quickly finished with the rabbit meat and went to wash the knife and his hands. Then he started to chop the onion, leeks, carrots and celery. "I really don't see the need for such questions though. I mean, blood is blood. It's red. What does it have to do with people getting together? If I wouldn't know any better, I'd think Spears cooks up these schemes to dissuade office romances. You know how he is…"

"Yes, I know." Alan nodded his understanding. It was hard to imagine their strict, by-the-book boss being in a relationship with anyone. He smiled then, his mood brightening. "But I'd happily fill out these silly questions. I'm glad that we're finally together as a couple and not just as partners at work. I … I wanted to say something countless times but I wasn't sure how you'd take it."

"If I would have known that, I would have spoken up sooner." Eric couldn't believe that Alan had been thinking the same thing he had as what are the odds of that? He put some butter in a large saucepan and when it was heated, added the chopped veggies. Once the vegetables were softened a bit, he added the chopped rabbit, allowing it to cook for several more minutes. While it cooked, it pulled out the chicken stock he had made yesterday and then added it to the kettle along with some red wine vinegar, tarragon, salt and pepper. Satisfied that it was cooking, he went to pull out the ingredients to make the oat cakes. "Let's go see the doctor tomorrow and ask about this blood type thing…"

"It's a plan." Alan agreed as he happily watched the other cook.

000

Grell woke up extra early as he was determined to fix the sleeping arrangement somehow. If Sebastian didn't want to get a larger bed, then he would. And so the redheaded Shinigami snuck down the hallway of Phantomhive until he came to one of the neat guestrooms. To his utter delight, it held a nice large bed, one big enough for two. But when he tried to move it, he found it refused to budge. Grell gritted his teeth, pulling on the bed's frame. "Move you stupid thing!"

But the bed was as stubborn as ever and as heavy as could be. Its flat ended metal legs made deep indentations in the plush carpet, testament to the fact it had sat there for a long time.

Now beds came apart but Grell didn't realize this and so he stood there with a red painted nail by his mouth, thinking. Then he pictured dear William in his office, rolling about with ease to grab this or that off of his bookcase. Grell's face lit up as he imagined himself rolling the bed down the long corridor and into the demon's bedroom. Throwing on his work clothes with ease, he quickly headed to the office.

This was the earliest Grell had ever reported to work in his immortal life and the offices stood vacant, his co-workers still asleep. He didn't bother to punch in as he didn't want anyone to know he was here, not with what he was about to do. Thievery was frowned upon and his lovely chainsaw might be confiscated again in favor of lousy scissors and that he did not want. But his need was great and so Grell was willing to suffer any consequences for true love.

Quickly he snuck down the hall and into William's office. Thankfully even William the workaholic was not in yet, the sun not even risen yet. Grell wasted no time hurrying around his supervisor's large desk, his green-yellow eyes locked onto the wonderful chair, a chair with wheels. Quickly the chair was turned over onto its side and at the bottom he saw five spokes stretching outward, each one ending in a nice little wheel. The redhead pulled tools out of his pocket, ones he had borrowed from Phantomhive without permission, and quickly removed four of the five wheels. Once the dirty deed was done, he set William's office chair back upright and behind his desk. It sat slightly crooked now but he thought the dour man would never notice.

Returning to Phantomhive, Grell tried to figure out how to attach the stolen wheels onto the bed. "This had better work! I'm not going to spend another night shivering on the floor!"

000

William T. Spears punched into work as he always did, the building still mostly empty with only a few early souls trekking in. With a hot cup of coffee in hand as well as a bag of two apple Danish, he headed for his office. He would eat breakfast while doing his paperwork as he had many files to read over. That annoying thing with the thirty secretaries had put him behind schedule and he hated that.

Strolling into his office, he set the coffee and bag of pastry on his desk. He took a moment to adjust the blinds on his window to allow the natural light in. He liked the morning light and how it fell on his desk. It was far preferable to the harsh artificial lighting; although he didn't think anyone else cared. He pulled his chair out and noted it moved a bit funny but didn't think much of it. It was still very early and he was not fully awake yet. Once the chair was where he wanted it, he bent his knees and sat down.

A loud yelp of surprise came from his mouth when he and his chair toppled over onto the floor.

William lay there for a moment, dazed, as he had hit his head on the floor. Luckily, he was a Shinigami and such an injury would not seriously injure him as it could to a human. Still, he lay there and stared up at the ceiling, puzzled and confused. Slowly he crawled to his knees and then to his feet. He righted the chair and put the pressure of his hand on the back. "Why, it's all wobbly!"

For unknown reasons during the night his chair had grown crooked and unstable. He frowned, realizing this was another delay, an unexpected and annoying delay. He would have to order another chair from somewhere. He tried to recall which department was in charge of supplying furniture but couldn't recall. He realized it was going to be one of those days and sighed unhappily.

000

Grell grinned as he stood and stretched like a cat. Finally he had gotten the stolen wheels to stick onto the bed and they seemed secure. It hadn't been easy and he had been tempted to take his chainsaw to the bed numerous times, but he had managed to control himself. Now his hard work would pay off.

Using his Shinigami strength, he pulled the wheeled bed over the fuzzy carpet and towards the doorway. Then the bed struck the door's molded wooden frames and refused to go any further. Grell frowned, realizing the bed was too wide to fit through the opening! "But how did it get in here…?"

He thought about it and then realized that Sebastian must have tipped it sideways to slide it through the door. The Shinigami studied the bed for a moment, pondering which end he should shove up into the air. "Ah, a wife must do all of the work around here! That Sebas-chan is so lazy! All he does is serve that little brat!"

And so he moved to the center of the bed, grabbing the frame securely and shoved it upward. Instantly the mattress toppled off of the bed and fell on him, knocking him to the floor. Then the frame fell over the other way, making a loud clatter as the metal hit the carpeted floor. If it had been a wooden floor the noise would have been louder but the plush fibers muted it somewhat.

Grell's muffled shrieks came from under the mattress, just a hand poking out and waving weakly.

000

"What was that?" Ciel asked Sebastian as the demon buttoned up his shirt. "I felt the bed shake just now!"

"I hope Bardroy has not blown up the kitchen again…" Sebastian said in a weary tone. He too had felt a vibration travel through the floorboards and into his legs. Still, the noise did not sound powerful enough to be an explosion.

"Where's Grell?" Ciel asked as he offered a foot so his butler could pull a sock onto his foot. "You know he makes as much mischief as they do."

"I cannot say, Bocchan. He was gone when I awoke this morning." Sebastian admitted. "I presume he left for his job."

"He better not be destroying my manor!" Ciel said in a huff. "He's your wife, Sebastian! You had best keep an eye on him."

"But Bocchan, you know that's not true!" Sebastian protested, surprised by the young man's words. "Grell is only saying he's my wife. We are not truly wed."

"The other servants seem to think you are." Ciel replied with a somewhat wicked grin. "Or can't you handle Grell's latest scheme? Did he really outsmart you this time?"

"What I say does not seem to matter to him. He keeps insisting he's my wife." The demon explained as he put shoes on his young charge.

Ciel grinned. "Maybe you enjoy being married to him?"

"Of course not!" The demon protested. "I even forced him to sleep on the floor."

"But that's rude, Sebastian. It's improper to have your wife sleep on the floor…"

The demon frowned at the words. Was Ciel taking Grell's side in the matter?

000

Grell crawled out from under the heavy mattress, gasping for air. He took a moment to straighten his clothes and shove his long red tresses behind his shoulder. Then his green ringed eyes grew wide as he gasped. "The bed fell apart!"

The lovely metal frame had fallen into several pieces, the headboard being separate from the other bits. Grell cautiously inched closer, peering at the disaster that waited for him. "Is it made this way? It looks like this bit here would fit in that thing there…? Hmmm….what to do? Oh! It'll be so much easier to get to Sebas-chan's room this way!"

The Shinigami quickly carried all of the metal pieces to Sebastian's bedroom, one piece at a time. He then took the demon's bed apart by tipping it over and to his delight it all came apart just as the other one had. The smaller bed was then quickly carted back to the guest room.

"But how am I going to move this mattress? It's so big, clumsy and heavy as a rock!" Grell stared at the giant mattress, biting his lip lightly. Then the image of another item sprang to mind. Quickly he hurried down to the kitchen and took it, using the servant's stairs in the rear so the demon wouldn't catch him.

000

"Where did the serving cart go?" Sebastian asked the empty kitchen as he stood there perplexed by its absence. He had the young master's breakfast ready but the cart was not where he had left it. There was still the mystery of the loud noise they had heard and so far he had not encountered anything to explain it, which was odd indeed. Generally when the servants did some major blunder it was obvious. But the kitchen was in one piece, the china cabinet not knocked over and everything else seemed fine as well.

Mey-Rin entered the kitchen then.

"Did you see the serving cart, Mey-Rin?" Sebastian asked.

"No, Sebastian. I thought it was here in the kitchen?" She replied as she looked about the room. "I don't see it anywhere."

"I am positive it was here but now it is missing…" The demon sighed but decided he would have to carry breakfast out to Ciel until he could go in search of it. He could not allow the Earl's meal to get cold.

000

Grell happily pushed the large mattress down the hallway as it balanced on the serving cart, a wide grin on his face. It had been a bit of a struggle getting the thing onto the cart, but now that it was on, moving it was a breeze. He happily steered it around a bend in the hall and soon he had it at the proper room. He hauled the heavy item off of the cart and through the doorway, gritting his teeth. Then with some difficulty, he assembled the bed and hoped he was doing it right.

The cart was quickly returned to the kitchen via the rear stairs. The Shinigami grinned again, as not a soul was in sight. He heard voices coming from the dining room and realized Ciel must be eating his breakfast.

He then checked his pocket watch. "I'm late for work!"

Quickly he hurried out the back door.

000

"I must be going mad…" Sebastian stated a short time later when he came into the kitchen with the tray of dirty breakfast dishes and saw the serving cart sitting there. "The cart is here but earlier it was missing…"

000

The Shinigami doctor took one look at the two dispatch officers and sighed wearily. He lost track of how many times Alan had been hauled in due to the Thorns. Worst, there was little he could do for the illness but treat the symptoms. Still, he noted that the ill man was standing on his own feet this time instead of leaning heavily on his partner. It gave him a small smidgen of hope that perhaps this time they were here for some other reason. "What is it this time?"

"Do you know what blood type we are?" Alan asked hopefully.

"Blood type?" The doctor asked with surprise evident in his voice. "It should be in my files. Let me go check…"

Alan watched the doctor leave. Turning towards Eric, he smiled. "See, it's not that hard finding the answers…"

"Yeah, I guess so…" Eric waited patiently for the man to return, his saw leaning against his shoulder. He reminded himself that he needed to go see the demon later for more of those souls. He still found it hard to believe that the demon had told him the truth, that he had helped him. Was it because of Grell? He was pretty sure the demon he had talked to had been the famous Sebastian Michaelis; the one Grell was always blabbering about.

"Here we are…" The doctor returned carrying two files, one thin and one extra thick. He opened the first one and quickly scanned through the papers there. "Mr. Slingby is Type O…"

"O?" Eric asked as he had no idea even what a blood type was.

"Yes, Type O. There are four blood types and O is the most common…" The doctor replied and he opened the other file. "And Mr. Humphries is Type AB."

Alan dutifully wrote the answers down even if it meant nothing to him.

"Is that all?" The doctor looked up at them expectedly, expecting some words about pain or other issues relating to the Thorns.

"I actually feel pretty good…" Alan told the doctor in a soft voice. "I really don't know why, but I do."

"Well, let's hope the trend continues." The doctor replied as he arranged the two files on a neat pile on his desk. Another ill Shinigami came in then and the doctor hurried to treat his injury, as blood was gushing out of a wound on his head. If they didn't know any better, they would think William had hit him with that hedge trimmer of his.

The two left and strolled down the hallway side by side.

"I can't believe I fell asleep at your apartment yesterday…" Alan said with a slight hint of red to his cheeks. "But the rabbit stew was delicious! And you really baked the oatcakes yourself, too."

"Think nothing of it. Besides, you're my wife, remember?" Eric was pleased with the statement and was still amazed at how well such a crazy idea had worked. After eating the home cooked meal, Alan had worked on filling out the form and then he had dozed off. Eric, being generous as always when it came to his partner, had given up his bed in favor of his ill partner. He had carried Alan bridal style into his bedroom and had set him on the bed. He had only removed his jacket, shoes and bolo tie, and then had pulled the blanket up over him. He had spent the night on the sofa with a spare blanket he had.

"But you shouldn't have to give up your bed for me…" Alan protested.

"But I wanted to." Eric replied as he hoped the other wouldn't make a fuss over it. "It's what a husband does and I don't mind."

Neither was bold enough to admit that Eric's bed was large enough for two.

They rounded a corner then and ran into Grell. The wild redhead looked rather tired today and although it was almost near noon they saw him stifling a yawn with his black gloved hand. His eyes landed on them and he hurried forward.

"Does your husband make you sleep on the floor, too?" Grell asked Alan.

"Ummm….no?" The question caught Alan off guard but he had answered truthfully. His mind whirled with confusion at the redhead's unexpected words.

"I gave up my bed last night for Alan." Eric admitted rather proudly but with a suspicious glint to his eyes. The last thing he wanted was for some crazy rumor to start about him treating his wife badly and sleeping on the floor was bad.

"You gave up your bed?" Grell stared at Eric as if he had grown two heads. "But my dear, you're supposed to share the bed!"

At the words, both of their faces turned rather reddish and they suddenly didn't know where to look. The floor became fascinating and the tiles on the ceiling; anywhere but each other.

Grell took in their blushing and waved a hand in dismissal. "You're just as shy as that Sebas-chan! I never realized he was so but it's true! He made me sleep on the floor last night and hogged the bed for himself, but I fixed it!"

Neither Eric nor Alan had any idea of what to say to that.

The redhead pulled out his pocket watch and checked the time. "I must run my dears! I need to go cook lunch for my dear Sebas-chan!"

They watched Grell hurry off, his heels clicking loudly against the shiny floor.

"I thought demons only eat souls?" Alan said as he finally found enough bravery to look at Eric again without turning as red as a tomato. "How can he cook for him?"

"Ah, Grell says all sorts of crazy stuff…" Eric dismissed it with a snort, laughing. "You know it's impossible to cook a soul."

Still, he thought of the souls that had been hidden in the fish and felt slightly guilty – yet he would do it again and again as the cure was clearly working.

000

Grell huffed in annoyance as he prepared the fish. Soon he had them deheaded, cleaned of icky guts and rolled in salted flour. He then fried them up and quickly delivered them to the demon. As before, he demanded a kiss and received a small little peck. Without a doubt, it proved his theory that Sebas-chan was shy and naïve about such things as love and romance. But as much as he wanted to stay, he had souls to collect on his To Die List and he was already running late. Blowing another kiss to the demon, Grell raced out the front door and almost ran Ciel over in the process. The little Earl was left twirling on one foot madly as the room spun about him crazily and then he fell over onto the polished floor to lay there in a dizzy daze.

A few minutes after Grell left out the front, Eric appeared in the rear at the kitchen window. "Hey, demon! You in there?"

Sebastian heard the other reaper's voice calling out and realized they had just missed each other by sheer luck. He quickly placed his hand on the plate of cooked fish and sunk his demon magic into it. Without the magic, eating the fish would not cure the other at all and at the moment (and into the foreseeable future) he had enough problems to deal with. Grell was being a determined pest this time and he had no time for any kidnappings. If he could prevent them, he would. "Yes, I have the souls right here."

The plate of fish was quickly handed over.

"You know, I admit yesterday I was rather suspicious of this whole thing." Eric admitted as he accepted the plate. "But I have to admit Alan says he's feeling better…"

The demon smiled. "That is good to hear."

"So you're the famous Sebastian, right?" Eric asked as he studied the neatly dressed butler through the open kitchen window.

"Oh? Am I famous?" The demon blinked innocently, a blank expression on his face. "I was not aware of that. I am merely one Hell of a butler."

"Grell's always talking about you…" Eric explained as he continued to eye the raven haired fiend. He had never really met a demon before and certainly not one he could talk to like this. Demons were their enemy and one generally ended up in a fight, but this was different.

"Grell is infatuated with me it seems." Sebastian sighed as he thought of the trouble he had with the redhead.

"Look, demon, it may be none of my business but you shouldn't force your wife to sleep on the floor. It's rude. If I can give up my bed for Alan, I don't see why you can't do the same."

Sebastian sighed wearily. "There is a misunderstanding. Grell is not my wife. We are not wed."

"Hey," Eric replied. "Alan and I are not married either but he's still my wife!"

"So this nonsense was your idea…" The demon hadn't expected that but then he knew nothing of this blonde Shinigami. He had only known that if he didn't offer a cure, then this blonde would be involved in a big mess and that Bocchan would wound up kidnapped due to some fiasco at an opera. It was all rather annoying and he'd rather avoid it if he could.

"Hey, don't pin this loony idea on me! Grell told me about it and it works!" Eric grinned at how well it had snagged him the wife he had always wanted. "Look, Grell really loves you. He talks about you nonstop at work."

Did Grell really love him? Sebastian could not see why the redhead could love him. Why would anyone love a demon? People hated demons, they feared them, they tried to destroy them and spat at them. Others preferred to use the demon to get what they wanted and tried to split later, to escape their dark fate. His current master seemed to be different in that regard but that was incredibly rare. "No one loves a demon."

"Grell does love you." Eric repeated with confidence in his voice. "Look, I have to go. I'll see you tomorrow."

Sebastian watched the blonde Shinigami leave with his plate of fish and he pondered the man's words. Could he be right, did Grell really love him?

000

Grell sat at his desk, painting his fingernails a pretty shade of blood red. As he did this his mind whirled with possibilities. He wanted to do something nice for Sebastian, something to prove his love. He had already fixed up their bedroom more suitable for a couple with the larger bed from the guest room, but what else could he do? Then he recalled that the demon didn't own any nice clothing but his butler outfit; which had been provided by the estate. He vowed right then and there he'd go shopping for the demon. That was a wife's job was it not, to buy clothes for her husband? Men could be so clueless and would walk around in any rag as they just didn't know any better … not that Sebastian was that way, not really, but sleeping in his tailcoat?

Fanning his nails so they'd dry, he went over in his mind what stores he would shop at. The redhead loved shopping and had a closet packed full of gowns, shoes, sexy lingerie and all sorts of exciting but expensive things. Yes, shopping was grand! Realizing his nails were dry, he picked up his finished reports and headed to William's office. Pushing the door open, he saw the dark haired reaper standing near his desk with a sour look on his face as men from the maintenance department crawled about on the floor.

"No, I don't know where the wheels went…" William replied sourly. "How would I know? My chair was just fine when I went home last night. Really, can't I just get another one?"

"You need to fill out the proper forms and hand it in to Supplies…" the man replied from underneath Spears' desk.

"And they said their printer is broke so they can't print the form for me to fill out…" William huffed in annoyance as he adjusted his glasses with his ever present hedge trimmer. "Seriously, this is utter nonsense! How am I supposed to do my work without a chair? Do you realize the backlog this delay is causing?"

"Not my problem…" The maintenance man replied as he poked his head out. "I can't find the wheels anywhere…maybe they vanished into the aether like them death scythes do…?"

"Why would I store wheels in the aether? Seriously!" Spears grimaced.

"William dear, here are my reports!" Grell said as he handed the sour man his stack of finished papers.

"I'm glad to see you're behaving for once, Sutcliffe." William stated as he accepted the reports. "I have enough problems at the moment as you can see, so please continue to do your work."

Grell flashed William a bright grin of shark teeth, secretly relieved that William did not suspect him at all. And why would he? Stealing wheels was not his usual thing. No, he was known for chasing demons and getting a bit too bloody with his work. But in Grell's eyes he was just enthusiastic. He enjoyed his job and seeing blood spray everywhere, to paint his victims a nice pretty shade of scarlet. His co-workers, well, they didn't enjoy it at all. In fact, several of them even hated their jobs! Taking lives made them feel guilty and they did it without leaving a mark on their targets or without the slightest bit of pain. Grell didn't understand it but to each his own.

The redhead fluttered his long lashes at his supervisor, as he didn't want the other to grow suspicious. William expected him to act a certain way and Grell realized if he didn't, then he may grow suspicious. "Oh, yes, I've been doing my new hobby: cooking!"

"I'm glad." William said with a sigh of relief. He dug into his jacket's pocket and pulled out a piece of folded paper. "I copied down this sole recipe for you. It's for a stew. I thought you might enjoy it."

"Thank you, William dear! I must run now!" Grell accepted the recipe and stuck it into the pocket of his red coat. Turning, he hurried out of the office at top speed. He couldn't wait to arrive at the stores to do his shopping.

"This is the result of shoddy material…" William's voice echoed down the hall after Grell. "If you people would just purchase decent items in the first place…

000

Sebastian didn't know what was wrong with himself but for unknown reasons he couldn't stop thinking about Grell. The thing is the other reaper had put an idea in his head and no matter how he tried to shake it out, he couldn't. He wanted to know if Grell really did love him. It shouldn't matter to him. It hadn't before, but for some unknown reason now it did.

For the tenth time Sebastian lifted his hand and felt at his forehead, half suspecting it to feel hot but it didn't. Surely he was getting ill? Love didn't matter to demons so why suddenly was it so important that Grell loved him?

No one had ever loved him before and he had survived just fine.

"I must be going mad…" The demon whispered to the empty library as he quickly dusted everything in sight flawlessly. That thing with the serving cart proved it. Carts did not vanish and reappear and no one else had any reason to take it. Yet he could not explain the incidence. It was a true mystery. "It doesn't matter if Grell loves me or not…"

Yet in his heart he knew it was not true.

He really wanted someone to love him but the idea frightened him too. For love opened him to the true possibility of getting hurt. His immortal heart could be broken. But surely the redhead was just playing a game, toying with him? Grell was fickle and would gladly chase after any handsome man. He had even made eyes at Pluto once. He was bloodthirsty and unstable, his moods changing as rapidly as the moon did. How could he believe the redhead's words?

"But Grell cannot be serious…" Sebastian stated as he quickly put fresh cut roses into a vase and arranged them just so. "Why would he want to be married to a demon? Reapers despise demons."

True, Grell was not normal but that still did not explain why he claimed to love a demon. The only logical answer was that it must be all a game on the redhead's part. Did he not claim to be a great actress?

"Oh Sebas-chan!" Grell's voice called out. "Look what I bought for you…!"

The redhead Shinigami appeared then in the doorway to the library, a fashionable bag from an expensive store swinging from his arm. His hair was in wild disarray from the wind blowing outside, yet at the same time it looked wonderful that way as if he was some wild creature of the wood. His stolen red coat hung off of his arms and a toothy grin was on his face.

"You bought something for me?" Sebastian asked, truly surprised. No one had ever bought him anything, not anyone who knew full well that he was a demon. Clothing and such from Ciel or his previous masters didn't count as that was part of his job.

"Of course I did! I'm your wife! It is my job to shop for you!" Grell hurried into the room and handed him the gift. His green ringed eyes shimmered with excitement.

Sebastian accepted the bag and looked within. Soft silk met his hand and he soon withdrew black fabric. Unfolding it, he realized it was a pair of elegant pajamas. His dark red eyes shifted from the unexpected gift to the wild reaper. "Why would you buy me a gift, knowing that I'm a demon?"

"Sebas-chan, you act as if no one has ever given you a gift before!" Grell exclaimed as he ran a finger down the other's chest, his red painted fingernail very noticeable against the black of Sebastian's butler outfit.

"People normally don't give gifts to demons, Grell, they run the other way." Sebastian gazed at the Shinigami but no matter how he studied him he could not determine if he was serious or not. Like it or not, there was only one way to find out and that meant asking questions. "Does it not bother you that I'm a demon?"

"Of course not, Sebas-chan, I find it exciting!" Grell quivered as his green ringed eyes took on a more yellowish cast to them. His thin body shook and his shoulders wiggled, his long tresses swaying with his movement. "Come on, Sebas-chan, surely you know that dark things excite me? The forbidden is always exciting, no? And you have those lovely scarlet eyes as well! You're handsome and dress well… what's not to like?"

"But I am still a demon, a fiend from the pit. Does that not scare you?" Sebastian knew Grell was rather dark himself. He had been half of Jack the Ripper and he had enjoyed tearing those poor prostitutes up in the most revolting ways. Blood did not bother him in the slightest; in fact spilling it thrilled him. In those ways they were alike. Sebastian could kill without blinking an eye and thought little of the lives he snuffed out for his various masters.

"Scare me? You jest! I am a glorious reaper of DEATH!" Grell exclaimed loudly as he flashed his shark teeth. "Look at me. People are more afraid of me I wager than of you, as death comes for all mortals in time. How they beg and plead when they see me with my chainsaw. They will do anything to prevent the end of their pitiful lives. Why, even my co-workers think I'm weird. I have these teeth and the taste for blood. Like it or not, Sebas-chan, we are well suited for each other; a smart match!"

"Perhaps we are a smart match…" Sebastian said somewhat uncertainly as he gazed upon the other. "You are not playing a game, are you Grell?"

"I am serious with my love, Sebas-chan! Why else would I insist that I am your wife? I have tried everything else and you always turn a cold shoulder or pound my face rudely." Grell thought of the time he had wasted chasing after William. His supervisor was a block of ice that no oven could melt. He only thought of work and forms and other such nonsense.

"I am not used to being in a relationship of this sort…" the demon admitted as he begun to think that maybe Grell was serious about his affections. It was still hard for him to believe, as he had never heard of anyone falling in love with a demon before. It was unheard of. It was crazy. It would turn his neat and orderly life upside-down but was that really so bad? Maybe even demons needed a bit of love in their lonely lives. And since a demon was immortal it only made sense that their mate should me immortal as well, as Grell was.

"I don't mind taking things slow…" Grell fluttered his long fake lashes and pressed himself against the demon's chest, pleased that at long last that Sebastian was cooperating. He had tried so hard for so long that he had thought he'd never find love. Finally his efforts were paying off. A feeling of joy surged through him and he sighed happily, pressing his cheek against the demon's fine wool tailcoat. His heart was beating fast and he feared he may swoon from the excitement of it all.

Somewhat awkwardly Sebastian wrapped an arm about the reaper, holding him close. Oddly enough, it felt good. Grell's sweet perfume tickled his nose and the long cascade of his hair felt soft even through his white butler gloves. Surely touching it with his real hand would make it even softer?

Grell felt the arm encircle him and he was thrilled. His fantasies were starting to come true.

000

The hour was late and Sebastian had just finished putting Ciel to bed, the young boy smirking at him. The demon felt the smirk was about his relationship with Grell. The boy felt the whole thing was very humorous, as if the demon had walked into a trap he couldn't get out of and perhaps that was true. Grell had expertly ensnared him in a clever arrangement and he had even fallen for the redheaded reaper. He never would have thought that it was possible but now he knew it was.

The demon carried the lit candelabra down the dark hallway towards his simple quarters. Normally he would blow the candles out as he did not need light to see, but he thought Grell would appreciate the light they provided. As he walked, he pondered what he should do about the sleeping arrangement, as several people had now told him it was rude to have one's wife sleep on the floor. He agreed with that, but things had changed now, his views on Grell had changed. "I suppose I shall have to do something…"

He opened the bedroom door and his mouth dropped open at what met his startled eyes. Someone, Grell apparently, had redone his bedroom! His little cot was gone and a large bed had replaced it, the bed covered in expensive looking black sheets. His white pillow and Grell's red pillow were side by side with room to spare. Frilly red curtains hung from his bedroom window, the curtains tied back with neat bows. Without a doubt, it was a woman's touch even though Grell was clearly a male. Still, he thought as a female at times.

Sebastian was at a loss as to when this happened, how this had happened. How could the thin reaper move a big bed like that? He doubted if he had the slightest clue about such things. Like it or not, Grell was very incompetent when it came to being a butler. Then he recalled the mysterious thud that had shook the manor early that morning and things started to come into focus. The bed was clearly from the guest room although the sheets and curtains were not. Grell must have bought them from somewhere.

"Are you coming to bed, dear?" Grell asked from where he lay on half of the bed, his long tresses trailing behind him over the sheets. He was stretched out on one side, his legs slightly bent. A sexy red set of night clothes was on him, the outfit trimmed in black lace. It exposed his long legs and his slender arms.

The demon carefully considered his options. He did want a relationship with Grell, he knew that now, but he didn't want to rush things either. "If you agree not to molest me during the night."

Grell laughed at his words. "Silly, it is I who must worry about that or did you forget that I am a lady? Who ever heard of a man getting molested?"

"As long as things are clear." Sebastian picked up his silk pajamas and went into the bathroom to change. He was taking no chances with Grell as he figured the other would be all too willing to peep. Why he was concerned about such things when he was a demon he didn't know, but he was. The silk felt cool against his skin, a far change from his cotton shirt and warm wool tailcoat. Once he was satisfied with his appearance, he came out.

"Ah, you look dashing!" Grell exclaimed as he studied him in the new outfit.

Slowly Sebastian crawled into bed. Almost instantly Grell was plastered to his side and he heard the Shinigami sigh dreamily, a thin but strong arm curled over his chest. The demon contemplated this for a moment as Grell snuggled against him, shifting a bit until he was comfortable. Truthfully, it wasn't really that bad and felt rather nice; different but nice. Grell was warm, an added bonus.

He could get used to this all too easily.

000

The days passed and Sebastian grew used to having Grell as his wife, a wife he hadn't wanted at the beginning but one he appreciated having now. Slowly he started to teach Grell how to cook, mainly so they could have something in common besides their immortality. That and he couldn't stand the pitiful attempts the redhead made. He really didn't know how those other reapers could actually eat those horrible looking fish Grell made yet they had never complained. The only answer the demon came up with is that they had simple tastes and not refined ones as Ciel did.

Unless the reaper was a worst cook than Grell; the thought was horrifying.

000

"Eric, let's practice fighting…" Alan said out of the blue as he stood from where he had been sitting and picked up his garden slasher. "I'm getting out of shape or that's how I feel anyway…"

"But Alan!" Eric loudly protested with wide eyes full of concern. "What if it brings on an attack? You know too much physical activity can do that!"

"But I feel fine. I haven't felt a single twinge in my chest for weeks now." Alan stood there patiently waiting for the blonde to get his saw.

Reluctantly Eric sighed but and picked up his saw. He shrugged a bit carelessly. "If that's what you want…"

The two headed outside onto a long green expanse of lawn, the sun shining strongly overhead. Although it was late in the year, there was no wind and so it was a rare warm day; one of the last of the year probably. In the distance the trees shown brilliant reds, golds and orange against the blinding white of the towering Shinigami Library with its huge round dome.

The two took up positions opposite each other and then started their mock battle. They leaped, twirled and struck out at each other with their death scythes; moving effortlessly. At any moment Eric expected Alan to gasp in pain and to fall to the grass but the moments ticked away and it did not happen. He could tell by the amazed expression on the brunette's face that he too was surprised by the fact he was still moving just fine. After twenty minutes of fierce activity, the two gave up and stretched out on the grass.

"Do you think I'm cured?" Alan asked as he turned his head to look at Eric. "I mean, I know I felt fine for some time now but this proves it! I had hoped, yes, but this is amazing!"

"I guess so…" Eric wiped sweat off of his brow and shoved his blonde hair out of his green ringed eyes. Truthfully, he didn't understand it. It should have taken a thousand souls and he knew Alan didn't eat nowhere near that many. Heck, it hadn't even been a full month yet.

"What do you think brought this about?" Alan said as he twisted about so he could see the other better. "The Thorns of Death was said to be incurable!"

The question and the earnest look in Alan's eyes made Eric feel guilty. It had been easier when the smaller man had thought it was true love that made him feel better but now he was clearly looking for a more serious answer; one he didn't feel comfortable giving. Somehow he didn't think Alan would accept the facts very well at all and he could lose him just when things were going so well. "I can't say…"

It was true enough but he knew Alan would take the words to mean he didn't know.

But Alan was looking thoughtful, his brain obviously clicking. "You know, I started to feel better that day when you brought me that fish for lunch and since then we'd had fish for lunch each and every day…"

Eric gulped a bit nervously. Truthfully he had been hoping that Alan wouldn't realize that but it was a pretty hard thing to hide. Some days the fish had been soup or baked or fixed in different ways, but it still had been fish. He started to play a bit with his jacket, a bad habit he had when he was nervous. He tried not to do it but it was like his fingers had a mind of their own. He had tried to plan on what to say when this day came, but he had thought it months away and he wasn't prepared at all. "So? Fish is supposed to be good for you…"

"Eric, I can put one and one together…" Alan reached out and grabbed Eric's hand, holding it between his own two. "And I know you didn't cook the fish. I've eaten enough of your cooking over the past few weeks to know that. Now come on, tell me. Where did you get the fish from and what was in it?"

"You won't like the answer…" Eric hung his head in shame as he blinked back tears. "I know you won't like it and then I'll lose you…"

"Eric, you're not going to lose me!" Alan insisted as he crawled closer to Eric and wrapped a comforting arm over his wide shoulders. "I spend more time at your apartment than I do my own, you know that…"

"And that's why I don't want to lose you. But you'll hate me when you'll find out the truth, I know you will…" He knew Alan would never willingly eat a soul to save his own life and yet he had fed them to him secretly anyway. "It was a lowdown, dirty thing I did, I know that, but I was desperate!"

"I'm not going to hate you." Alan insisted as he lifted Eric's chin with his free hand, the one not around his shoulders. He could see his eyes were wet with tears, his face tear streaked. He really couldn't see what Eric could be possibly upset about, as what could be possibly be that bad? He just didn't get it. "I could never hate you. I've admired you for years! But I don't understand how you found a cure for an incurable disease…"

Eric took a trembling breath. "It was souls, OK? There were souls hidden in the fish…"

Alan's green eyes grew wide in surprise. "Eric, do you actually believe that? We can see souls or have you forgotten? There weren't any in the fish! It was just fish."

"Look, I admit I couldn't see them either but he said they were there!" Eric blurted as he suddenly started to feel hot, feel the need to defend himself. "He said that it would work and it did!"

"Who…?" Alan leaned forward, curious beyond belief.

"That demon, Sebastian Michaelis, the one Grell claims he's married to. I was walking along that day after we got married and I was going to try that old rumor of a thousand pure souls, except I couldn't bring myself to do it. I wondered out into the country and saw this sign in a window of a huge house. It said FREE SOULS and the demon gave me that first plate of fish…" Eric lifted his glasses and wiped at his wet eyes. He felt better now that he told Alan the truth, but he was still somewhat fearful of losing him. He peered at his partner with trepidation, his heart full of doubt. "I know there was something in the fish as it worked…"

"And you really think a demon is going to be giving souls away?" Alan smiled at the insane idea, clearly finding it humorous.

"I know it sounds crazy, but he said he was incapable of lying!" Eric pointed out. "That kid he serves made that a condition, so if he said there was souls in them there had to be, right?"

"Look, let's go see him." Alan rose to his feet and offered his hand to Eric. Once the blonde took it, he helped him up. "It's the only way we'll clear this up. And surely you realize a cure for the Thorns of Death would be a very valuable thing, right?"

Eric made a portal and led his partner to Phantomhive. Since he had already collected his fish for the day, he knew the demon would not be expecting him at all. The huge house rose up before them, stately and glorious. The grounds were as neat as could be. He took the path he always did and headed around to the kitchen window in the rear. He was doubtful if anyone would be there though at this hour. But to his surprise he saw the raven haired demon standing outside and holding a black cat in his arms, petting it with rapt attention.

"Hey, demon…" Eric called as he approached him rapidly, Alan at his side. "We want to know what was in the fish you've been giving me…"

Sebastian blinked his red eyes innocently. "Did the cure not work?"

"Yes, it worked. I feel just fine." Alan admitted as he got his first look at the famous demon that Grell was always gushing about. "I'm just curious how it worked. We can see souls with our unique eyes and I didn't see any souls in the cooked fish…"

"I never saw any either…" Eric admitted.

A figure came flying over the trees and landed right in front of them. It was Grell and he held a bag in his hand. The redhead looked quite surprised at seeing them there. "What are you two doing here?"

"Something the demon's been giving me cured Alan of the Thorns of Death…" Eric explained as he waved a hand in the air. "We want to find out what it was…"

"There's a cure?" Grell gasped, surprised.

"He told me it was souls but they looked like fish…" Eric explained.

"I know about those souls!" Grell gasped as he grew even more animated, his body wiggling with excitement. Eagerly he waved his bag in the air, a strong fishy odor coming from it. "There's this shop in London that sells them! It's clearly some black market, smuggling thing!"

"Oh dear…" Sebastian raised a white gloved hand to his forehead as if he were in pain. He had pondered if Grell had known the truth about the fish and now it was very clear he did not.

"They look exactly like fish!" Grell blabbered with excitement. He opened his bag and pulled out a raw fish, holding it by the tale. He then started to wave it around in the air, making certain that both of his co-workers could see it. "But if you go in there and ask for souls, he gives you these fish! And even more shocking is the fact that William eats them! Yes, our boss William, can you believe it? He must be part demon!"

"That looks like a fish to me." Eric said as he backed up so the waving fish wouldn't clobber him in the face.

Alan's eyes followed the fish around, ready to duck if need be. When Grell grew excited about something there was no stopping him.

"It is a fish called sole." Sebastian explained. "S-O-L-E. Surely you've heard of 'fillet of sole' have you not?"

Grell stopped waving the fish in the air, his excitement dying. "You mean there are no souls hidden in these fish?"

"They are just ordinary fish." The demon explained with a weary sigh. "I had thought you knew that."

"How was I supposed to know that? A fish is a fish to me!" Grell said as he stood there holding the raw fish. "They all look the same more or less. Some are big and some are small, this or that color, but they are still stinky fish!"

"So what was in the fish then?" Alan asked the demon.

"I simply put some of my powers into the fish. It is a simple enough thing to do." Sebastian explained as he stroked the cat that he still held, the cat who was now eyeing the raw fish. "Demons can regenerate easily enough and I just put that into the fish."

"But why would you do that for me?" Alan asked as he tried to understand the demon's motives. He had never met the man before and he had never heard of one being generous to anyone and certainly not to a reaper!

"I have my reasons." The demon mysteriously stated. "I dislike it when Bocchan gets kidnapped and by curing the problem now I save myself a hassle in the future."

The three reapers gawked at the demon, clearly confused. The answer made no sense to them.

"Well, no matter the reason I am very grateful. Thank you, Sebastian." Alan quickly said as he realized he owed his current good health to the demon. "I never realized that a demon could be so different than what we're taught."

"Yes, William is always spouting that demons are the enemy and that is a lie!" Grell added fervently as he glued himself to Sebastian's side, leaning his head on the taller man's shoulder happily. "Sebas-chan is my husband!"

"Grell, did you ever have to fill out that form?" Eric asked as he suddenly recalled the really long and ridiculous book of questions from a few weeks ago.

"What form?" Grell asked.

"The form when you get married. It's like five hundred pages and asks the most stupid questions…" Eric explained.

"No… I never told William that Sebas-chan and I are married!" Grell didn't see why he should, as William hated demons. "Besides, such a thing would damage my fingernails…"

The cat leaped out of the demon's arms and stole the fish right out of Grell's hand, racing into the rose bushes with it. But the redhead didn't care. It was just a stinky fish and not a soul.

"He'll find out. We didn't tell him and he found out from office gossip…"

Grell really didn't care if his supervisor found out. He had his chance and lost. Sebastian was his and he wasn't going to give him up! But the most important thing is that his crazy idea had worked just as he had hoped it would.

Yes, no matter what he was Sebastian's wife for now and for all eternity!

The End

HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!